WASHINGTON – Ranjith Keerikkattil, 34, of Catonsville, Maryland, who left the United States after he was found guilty of stalking a junior co-worker, and was finally re-arrested four years later, has been sentenced to an 11-month prison term.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Keerikkattil was found guilty of the stalking charge on July 9, 2018, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Robert A. Salerno released Keerikkattil following the verdict, pending sentencing. The judge ordered him to appear the next morning to have a GPS monitoring device installed. However, he failed to appear, and left the United States, ending up in Australia, where he remained a fugitive for over four years. A grand jury subsequently indicted him on July 11, 2018, on a felony charge of violating the Bail Reform Act. He was finally arrested on Oct. 4, 2022, at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. He has pleaded not guilty to the felony Bail Reform Act charge and faces trial on Jan. 4, 2023.
The Honorable Judge James A. Crowell IV sentenced the defendant on Nov. 29, 2022, to the maximum of 12 months of incarceration; however, all but 11 months of the time was suspended on the condition that Keerikkattil successfully complete five years of supervised probation. Keerikkattil will also be required to stay away from the victim, her family, trial witnesses and the consulting firm, as well as be prohibited from possessing a firearm while serving the five years of supervised probation.
According to the government’s evidence at trial, the criminal conduct began in May 2015, while Keerikkattil was a senior consultant at a consulting firm in Rosslyn, Virginia. The victim, who resided at the time in the District of Columbia, had begun her first job out of college in 2015 as a business technology analyst for the firm. Keerikkattil was her first mentor on her first project. After the victim performed countless evening and weekend hours on the project, Keerikkattil, told her that he only brought her onto the project to get close to her and that he was merely giving her busy work. He ignored her wishes to keep their relationship strictly professional and continued to pursue her. After she repeatedly tried to resolve the matter herself, she reported Keerikkattil, on June 1, 2015, to her human resources counselor.
Keerikkattil was fired on June 19, 2015, for not being forthcoming about his conduct during the firm’s internal investigation of the matter. He blamed the victim for his termination and then began a stalking campaign in retaliation. His acts included publishing false allegations about the victim on the Internet and through mass e-mails to the victim and former company employees in order to seriously frighten and defame her. When ignored, he escalated his actions. Almost two months after being fired, he sat in a café that was frequented by company employees, including the victim. He was able to obtain eye contact with the victim on one occasion inside this café, frightening her even more. The victim’s attorney notified Keerikkattil, instructing him not to have any further contact with her, but he continued to text her.
With the victim continuing to ignore him, Keerikkattil decided to take a plane almost 3,000 miles to Seattle and then rent a car and travel an additional three hours to pay an unannounced visit to the victim’s parents in a remote suburb of Portland, Oregon. On Oct. 24, 2015, he knocked on the door to the victim’s childhood home, which was at the bottom of a long driveway, and asked her father for directions to the nearby parks. It took a moment for the father to piece things together. Once he was able to figure out whom the defendant was, he slammed and locked the door and called 911. Keerikkattil texted the victim shortly thereafter, “Was nice meeting your dad today.” An arrest warrant was obtained shortly thereafter, and Keerikkattil was arrested on Dec. 19, 2015, and charged with stalking.
At the sentencing hearing, the court also considered a statement from another female victim who had claimed that Keerikkattil had stalked her in 2012-2013, where he filed similar lawsuits against her and “doxed” her on the Internet. The Government referenced this prior alleged stalking behavior during its argument, drawing the court’s attention to the striking similarities between the two victims and how Keerikkattil chose to torment them.